Battery power unaffordable' for MG's next supermini
MG will stick with petrol power for the replacement of the MG 3, due before the end of 2024, but it is likely to add a hybrid system to reduce CO2, the brand has said.
The current 3 is now a minor player within MG compared with hotter-selling models such the ZS small SUV and HS compact SUV, but the Chinese-owned brand still sold 3876 examples of the supermini to the end of September — up 134% on the same month in 2021.
MG is focusing more on electric power with the launch of the MG 4 compact hatch, a rival to the Volkswagen ID 3, and the facelifted MG 5, the only compact estate EV. The brand also sells the electric version of the ZS and a plug-in hybrid version of the HS.
However, converting the 3 to electric power would be costly, hence its continuation as a combustion-engined model, MG UK commercial director Guy Pigounakis told Autocar.
“Developing a small electric car is only marginally cheaper than developing a bigger car," he said. “Then half the price is battery so it becomes a £25,000 car, which is unaffordable."
The current 3 is the oldest model in MG's UK range. It is on its third facelift since being revealed in 2011.
The car was launched in the UK in 2013 with an entry price of £8695. It now costs from £13,295 but remains one of the cheapest models on sale here. Adding a hybrid system is likely to increase the price again but should keep it under £20,000.